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Technology to promote Arabic online


Global software giant Microsoft is working on translation technology that would make the Arabic language more accessible to Internet users. This is part of its contribution to the ongoing efforts of the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology Qatar (ictQatar) to develop more websites with Arabic content.

“We’re deeply investing into that,” said Anoop Gupta, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Unlimited Potential Group, in an interview with The Peninsula yesterday. He said Microsoft was developing translation technology that would translate web pages in English into Arabic. It is also modifying search engines to make the language of the Arab world more accessible globally. Gupta said another way to generate more Arabic content on the Internet was to ensure that people in the Arab world become great digital citizens, so that they become a part of the digital revolution. The Microsoft official welcomed developments in Qatar, where many citizens are already blogging on the Internet everyday and exploring new websites. He said students in Qatar were also improving accessibility to Arabic language by doing their projects on the internetin Arabic.

Mohammad Mammoudi, Country Manager of Microsoft Qatar, disclosed the company had already introduced a Language Interface Programme which helps in making available tools in Arabic. Microsoft has also established an Innovation Center in Egypt which specialises in identifying ways of improving Internet search in Arabic and encouraging better participation of the Arabic community in the internet phenomenon. Microsoft has been collaborating with ictQatar on many programmes that will help enable innovations in technology, especially for Arabic-speaking people in the country who are still lagging behind in the global digital race. Dr Hessa Al Jaber, Secretary-General of ictQatar, has said there is still a major lack of Arabic content in the Internet, which is increasing the digital divide in the Middle East.

Source: The Peninsula